SEOUL, Jul. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Stray dog Tory, once destined for the dinner table, now sits at the President’s table in the Blue House as an official member of the First Family. President Moon’s adoption of Tory has been seen by some as a strong message against the dog meat industry in Korea.
On July 27, the BBC published the story of Tory’s entry into the Blue House.
In 2015, Tory was discovered in a dilapidated house in the city of Namyangju by animal protection activists, but due to Korea’s prejudice against black dogs, remained unadopted for two years before being welcomed into President Moon’s family.
The BBC also referred to the promise that President Moon made during his electoral campaign: “In keeping with my personal beliefs and values that all people and animals have the right to be free from prejudice and discrimination, I will adopt Tory as the First Dog.”
French Media Outlet AFP also reported on Tory and the dog’s background.
AFP quoted the words of a representative of CARE, an international humanitarian agency, which stated that Tory was rescued after being beaten and abandoned in a dilapidated house by an elderly man who was notorious for abusing and eating dogs.
It further reported that there are many cases of ‘ugly’ dogs being abandoned in Korea, and animal rights groups estimate that approximately 100,000 dogs are given up by owners every year and are either slaughtered for consumption or euthanized by dog pounds because they do not find a new home.
AFP stated that Tory has been nicknamed ‘Moon Tory’ and explained that President Moon’s adoption is rather unusual given that most Koreans prefer purebreds.
Reuters also reported on Tory’s adoption, stating that President Moon fulfilled the promise he made during the election to promote adoption of stray animals and provide foodservice centers and gender-neutralization for alley cats.
Reuters explained that Tory remained unadopted in a dog pound for over two years as a black stray in a country where pets with lighter-colored fur are preferred over darker ones.
Korea’s canine meat culture has been sharply criticized, but in recent years, canine meat consumption has dropped and pet care and product industries have been growing rapidly.
About 25 percent of Koreans have pets, but with the sudden increase in abandoned animals, the Korean government spent 11.5 billion won last year alone to protect 87,100 stray animals.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)